Falcons Head Coach Arthur Smith: ‘Hell, Yeah, Be Hopeful’

Calvin Ridley

Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images Calvin Ridley of the Atlanta Falcons carries the ball after a reception against Kyzir White of the Los Angeles Chargers on December 13, 2020.

On Wednesday D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution had a one-on-one interview with Falcons head coach Arthur Smith, which gave Smith another opportunity to talk about his vision for the future and how he plans to utilize the existing talent on the roster. In the midst of a discussion about past problems with the team’s running game, Ledbetter said, “The fans are looking for hope…. The stories in the 4-12 season aren’t real happy.”

That seemed to get Smith fired up, as he suddenly became animated and said, “Hell, yeah, be hopeful. We are going to run the football. We believe in what we teach and what we preach and we feel strongly about it.”

He went on to note that he’s not going to be porting over the offense from Tennessee, because he doesn’t have the same players.

“We’re not going to have Derrick Henry here, so it’s not like I think we’re going to have Derrick Henry and hand it off and watch him stiff-arm 15 people and go 99 [yards]. You’d love to have that but that’s not reality,” he said, referring to Tennessee’s first-team All-Pro running back, who rushed for 2,027 yards and 17 touchdowns last year.

“The reality is we’ll get multiple backs in here and we’ll trust our schemes and teach the details of it,” he added. “We’ll commit to it and that should provide hope to people, because of that mindset.”

Well, that and making adjustments as talent and need dictate.

“I hope you guys are excited to come down and watch a winning product,” he concluded. “We’ll be a team that is going to be adaptable. We want a smart football team and guys that fly around. We will be creative and we don’t want to get stale….”

‘Super Fan’ Section Forthcoming at the Benz

Speaking of watching a winning product, the Falcons plan to convert about 750 seats in Mercedes-Benz Stadium to a “super fan” section that won’t require personal seat licenses, this according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“The seats, located in a lower-level corner, will be the only ones in the stadium to be offered as season tickets without a PSL fee. The section will be sold as general admission, meaning buyers won’t be assigned a specific seat,” notes sports reporter Tim Tucker, who says “a spokesperson for the Falcons’ parent company, AMB Sports & Entertainment, has indicated that the area will be ‘geared toward super avid fans’ and ‘is expected to add to the energy level inside the stadium.’”

Season Tickets in Section 134 Will Be $1,000

The seats, which will be general admission and in Section 134, are expected to go on sale this month at a price of $1,000. That is, $100 for each regular-season and exhibition game.

The 140 account holders who currently hold PSLs for seats in the section “will be offered replacement PSLs in comparable or upgraded locations elsewhere in the stadium,” advises Tucker. Alternatively, “PSL holders in the section who opt to participate in the ‘super fan’ program will have a prorated portion of their original seat license payment applied to their season-ticket account, but all seat licenses within that one section will be eliminated.”

PSLs in Section 134 were priced at $3,500 (later $3,700), plus the annual cost of season tickets.

Tucker also notes that the ‘Super Fan’ is merely a placeholder name for the section, which will be be re-branded.

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